Housing strategy


The Draft Housing Strategy is a step towards a 20 year plan to guide future housing in
Willoughby City over this period. It is intended to guide the quantity, location and type of
future residential development.

The fact that Chatswood (west of the Highway) , Chatswood West and Lane Cove North do not have local shopping centres seems may provide a degree of protection from additional development.

Demographic Forecasts
The population of Willoughby is expected to rise in 2036 from its current 78,017 to 91,848
– an increase of 13,830. Couples with children is expected to be the dominant household type (+32.8%). The increase in population will also see an increase in couples without
dependents (+28.3%), and lone person households (+23.5%). The average household size is expected to decrease from the current 2.6 persons to 2.53 persons by 2036. An additional 6,700 dwellings required to 2036. A reduction in numbers of separate house dwelling type being replaced by an increase in medium / high density dwellings

Housing Land Supply and Key Directions

It was concluded to cater for an 6,700 dwellings Council should focus in three areas:

Focus area 1 to be on existing medium and high density zones, (R3 and R4) that
have not as yet been developed to the full potential of the zone

Focus area 2 to be on the proposed B4 Mixed Use zone which surrounds the B3
Commercial Core of the Central Business District

Focus area 3 In the local centres of:

– Artarmon
– Northbridge
– East Chatswood
– Penshurst Street
– Castlecrag
– Naremburn
– Willoughby South

Infrastructure Provision
Provision needs to be a collaborative process as some of the providers are State
government and not Council. Council officers have already commenced discussions with
state agencies such as NSW Education – School infrastructure. It is proposed that during
exhibition, infrastructure providers such as Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW be further consulted on the endorsed areas for growth for detailed consideration regarding provision and phasing of services.


Conservation area?

After a resolution by Councillors, Willoughby Council ran an information forum on the proposed Eddy-DeVilliers Heritage Conservation Area. There were between 30 to 35 people in attendance. However, some were from outside the area.
Ian Arnott from Council did a quite reasonable job of providing information both for and against Heritage Conservation (HC) areas. The only thing he was a bit ‘silent’ on was the fact that now, far more Development Applications are determined by Council Officers ‘on-merit’ under delegation and that the weight the Local Planning Panel would give to community concerns is relatively unknown. Also, he did not flesh out that more cost might be involved in lodging a DA due to the need for specialist heritage reports being needed..
Ian had arranged for a real estate agent, Mr. Snodgrass from Forsyths and a local architect to also address the forum. The messages from all three presenters were consistent. Basically they suggested residents might fall into one of two camps.
‘Long termers’ who intend to live in their homes, probably without major additions who can use the HC codes to protect their amenity from ‘development bent’ neighbours. Short termers who are looking for significant financial gain for their property investment. using exempt and complying development provisions.
There was no ‘straw poll’ taken. However, negative comments from the floor seemed to outweigh cautious positive views by about 5:1. Probably about 50% of attendees made comments. Many comments related to the lack of an overall consistency across the area. Ian had also commented on this and that elevating an unworthy area to HC status can in fact downgrade the value of existing HC areas elsewhere in the city.
A big issue for many was how they only found out about the proposal a year or so after it was nominated and after Council had expended significant costs with having consultants undertake a study. They felt they should have been advise/consulted much earlier.
There was a question regarding research that has shown properties in HC areas become more valuable. Ian Arnott and Mr. Snodgrass confirmed that there had been such studies but they are now out-of-date. Snodgrass in particular stated that the heyday of positive financial returns from HC has passed with the emergence of Chinese investment into Chatswood’ residential areas. Now it is non HC properties that enjoy a premium.
The final question was ‘what happens next’? Ian Arnott outlined the Councillor’s motion only called for the forum to be held. However, he said he would probably send an email to Councilors advising them the forum had taken place and advising that the next move is in the hands of Councillors.

More jet noise?

lowflyimgaircraftWe have received a suggestion that there has been an increase in aircraft noise over the past couple of years.

In particular the concern seems to be in the general vicinity of the OH Reid Reserve.

There was a report about eighteen months ago that there had been an increase in the number of flights over the North Shore due to the current prevailing weather patterns.

If you have noticed a significant increase in aircraft noise, please leave a comment below on this story. Please indicate your street.


Blue Gum Reserve

Blue_Gum_CreekWilloughby Council recently undertook a review of the Blue Gum Reserve. As a consequence Council is planning:

• Continuation of weed management activities
• Maintenance of stormwater lines
• Continuing support of the Bushcare volunteer group.

In the public consultation it is reported that there were 9 respondents. Three of these related to the upgrading of tracks and access.

All community comments were via Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ platform.

The Council Officer’s responses to comments is contained in the Council Report.



New Hotel planned

VIBE ChatswoodThere is a proposal for a 4.5 Star hotel as part of the re-development of 475-501 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood (opposite Chatswood RSL).

The Cromwell Property Group want to build a 156 room Vibe Hotel, Chatswood including restaurants, gymnasium, conference rooms and pool and bar.

Story & image source: Australian Financial Review

Nelson St Bridge Closed

NelsonBridgeClosedAs part of the construction of the Sydney Metro South, the Nelson Street Bridge has been permanently closed prior to its removal.

The bridge provided the link for southbound motorists wishing to access the Epping Highway via left on Nelson St, right onto Orchard Road and right Mowbray Street West. The bridge will never be replaced.

RMS have advised that they expect motorists to continue down the Highway to Longueville Road to access the Epping Highway. It is more likely that motorists will access Orchard  Road from the north to follow the old route.

Plus what about those travelling east on Mowbray Road wishing to turn south towards St Leonards or even parts of Artarmon? One could loop around Nelson St in the past. Now it would be a long detour.

As Nelson Street will have to unconnected sections it is proposed to rename the stub between Orchard Road and the railway line. One suggestion is Horatio Street.

Also, with the alienation of the Metro ‘Dive Site’ on the corner of Pacific Highway and Mowbray Rd, the road running between Nelson St and Mowbray Rd – Bryson St– has been closed. Bryson Street commemorates John Bryson who first established the suburb of Chatswood around the intersection. This was long before Henry Lawson’s claim that Chatswood was named after Richard Hayes Harnett’s wife Charlotte on Harnett’s land near the current Chatswood Railway Station.

We must ensure that when the dive site is no longer required that Bryson St (or a suitable commemoration) is reinstated in the area.




Watch your presents

Watching out for your presents at Christmas

Christmas ParcelsWhilst Willoughby is a safe neighbourhood, retail theft is higher here than the NSW average and property break and enters have a few hotspots around the area.

With the festive season approaching here are some tips to protect your online purchases:


  1. Try to be at home when the parcel arrives – you can often track the progress of your delivery online.
  2. Ask a neighbour – either have your parcel delivered to them or ask them to keep an eye on your doorstep.
  3. Specify where the parcel is to be left when you place your online order. Choose somewhere out of sight.
  4. Have parcels delivered to your workplace – check with your manager that this is okay.
  5. Consider using a free Australia Post parcel locker, located at major supermarkets and petrol stations, with 24/7 access to your parcels. Or use the vendor’s click and collect option if available.
  6. Consider installing CCTV. If it is motion-activated and wireless you can see your parcel being delivered and ask someone to collect it for you immediately. If it is just a camera you can at least let the police have a picture of the thief!

Finally, remember to lock your doors and windows if you are going away (or even out for a short time) and look out for your neighbours.

Willoughby Neighbourhood Watch covers the whole Willoughby Council area and is run online through a Facebook Group and website.

The group now has 425 members, who receive quick updates on recent crimes and scams, requests from the police and various tips to stay safe.